Public Works Sector Capacity Building Forum
The Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) of the National Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (NDPWI) is implemented at provincial level by provincial departments of public works.
The Department of Transport and Public Works (DTPW) is the implementing department in the Western Cape. The EPWP aims to alleviate poverty and provide income relief through providing temporary work for the unemployed to carry out socially useful activities. NDPWI and DTPW jointly hosted a Public Works Capacity Building Forum in Cape Town from 6–7 July 2022.
The Forum, which was established to discuss EPWP recruitment challenges and the failure to attract technical skills into the built environment, has been in existence for seven years. Following up from the previous Forum meeting in East London in May this year, delegates discussed ongoing capacity building efforts to develop built environment technical capacity, including construction and engineering skills.
Fezeka Rayi, DTPW Director: Professional Development Programmes, did a presentation on the Western Cape’s skills pipeline massification plan. The strategic intent of the massification plan is to assist unskilled and/ or low-skilled youth, women and other adults to acquire practical technical skills which unlock, enhance and maximise their natural talents. This is expected to enable them to be self-employed and generate their own income.
Other provincial government representatives did presentations on their implementation of the EPWP, including shortfalls and achievements of the skills pipeline massification progress. Other areas of focus were a presentation on National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) funding and historic debt, how the National Department of Public Works and Infrastructure is dealing with funding, and an update on the National EPWP Framework.